Why all farms will have wind turbines in five years

AS an East Devon landowner fights opposition to his plans for a wind turbine, energy expert Mark Newton claims: Every farm in the UK will have a wind turbine in five years time.

AS an East Devon landowner fights opposition to his plans for a wind turbine, energy expert Mark Newton claims: "Every farm in the UK will have a wind turbine in five years' time."

Mr Newton says: "With 75 per cent of the UK's land in the agricultural sector, on-farm wind power can represent a significant business opportunity for farmers and landowners, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change."

Gavin Brake, of Overday Farm, Luppitt, wants to install a wind turbine as the next step to improving energy efficiency on the site.

"I have managed to reduce my fuel oil consumption by nearly 50 per cent and I hope to remove this completely in due course," Mr Brake told the Midweek Herald.


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"My next steps will allow me to generate my own green electricity. I am planning to install solar photovoltaic panels and I would also like to install one or two small wind turbines in a field behind my farmhouse.

"Nearly all of the houses in Luppitt are down in a deep valley, so small wind turbines won't work there. I am one of a small number of people with properties in our community situated on the flat, upland plateau where the wind is strong and constant.

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"I feel somewhat guilty that I have not put up a small wind turbine already."

Mr Brake will next month submit a planning application to East Devon District Council for one turbine.

He said: "Since my farm is only visible from three properties in the whole of Luppitt, two of which are one mile away, with only partial views, the visual impact of my proposed turbine on an 18.3 metre tower is negligible. I have a mature tree in my garden, which is approximately the same size as this."

Referring to opposition group SOS, which has campaigned against the planning application, Mr Brake said: "I welcome the formation of the SOS group, because I believe it is very important to have an open, informed and balanced debate about how we deal with the alternatives for small-scale renewable energy in working, rural communities such as the Blackdown Hill."

Dr Jonathan Scurlock, the National Farmers' Union's chief adviser on renewable energy and climate change, said: "The NFU's aspiration is that every farmer should have the opportunity to be a net exporter of low-carbon energy.

"National targets and government incentives for renewable energy are creating significant new business opportunities.

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